Twelve Years

An American Boyhood in East Germany

Joel Agee

Twelve Years
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Joel Agee

334 pages | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 1981
Paper $25.00 ISBN: 9780226010502 Published June 2000
Joel Agee, the son of James Agee, was raised for twelve years in East Germany, where his stepfather, the novelist Bodo Uhse, was a member of the privileged communist intelligentsia. This is the story of how young Joel failed to become a good communist, becoming instead a fine writer.

"A wonderfully evocative memoir. . . . Agee evoked for me the atmosphere of postwar Berlin more vividly than the actual experience of it—and I was there." —Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times

"One of those rare personal memoirs that brings to life a whole country and an epoch." —Christopher Isherwood

"Twelve Years consists of a series of finely honed anecdotes written in a precise, supple prose rich with sensual detail." —David Ghitelman, Newsday

"By turns poetic and picturesque, Agee energetically catalogues his expatriate passage to manhood with a pinpoint eye and a healthy American distaste for pretension. . . . Huckleberry Finn would have . . . welcomed [him] as a soulmate on the raft." —J. D. Reed, Time

"A triumph. . . . Unfettered by petty analysis or quick explanations, a story that is timeless and ageless and vital." —Robert Michael Green, Baltimore Sun

Christopher Isherwood

“One of those rare personal memoirs that brings to life a whole country and an epoch.”

Robert Michael Green | Baltimore Sun
“A triumph. . . . Unfettered by petty analysis or quick explanations, a story that is timeless and ageless and vital.”
. J. D. Reed | Time
“By turns poetic and picturesque, Agee energetically catalogues his expatriate passage to manhood with a pinpoint eye and a healthy American distaste for pretension. . . . Huckleberry Finn would have . . . welcomed [him] as a soulmate on the raft.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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